Concert Review by Shareef Ellis
It was another beautiful night in the City of Angels, and fans of one of the most popular bands of the 80’s stood in line to hear the iconic sounds of yesteryear. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries are best known for that angelic synth-pop sound popularized in part by Hollywood. When you think of the 80’s, you think of bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order or The Smiths. However, 80’s pop culture also brought two bands to the top of the list as a result of John Hughes movies. Flicks like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles propelled the Psychedelic Furs and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) to the pantheon of 80’s New Wave Gods.
Over the last few years, several bands from the 80’s have attempted to make comebacks. Some have had moderate success, while others have not. There have been a few that have been able to leave the shadows of their previous success to enter the new medium of today’s music scene. OMD is one of those exceptions. These cats have just put out their 12th studio album entitled English Electric, and their fans still dig the sound.
Not resting on their laurels, their new music is a semi-departure from the safe haven they have built their catalogue on over the years. OMD is back, hitting the airwaves and touring to promote their album and new hit Metroland. If you asked anyone at the Fonda that night, they’d tell you… the newer music has a departure from their 80’s synth-pop style, the melodies have evolved, but elements of their signature sound remains in place.
Playing to a packed house, McCluskey exclaimed, “I do believe, I told you we would return!” The crowd cheered,and it was clear that everyone in attendance was there to be entertained, and OMD did not disappoint. With the band weaving through the setlist from new songs to old ones, Andy displayed that sound he brings while dancing the crowd into a frenzy. Starting the night off with the first single off the new album Decimal. Andy, then turned over the vocal duties to Paul, and to everyone’s delight, he went into (Forever) Live and Die. After the song, and with a Devilish grin… Andy said, “I bet you danced to this song at your prom.” They then went into another crowd favorite, If You Leave. The good music and energy carried the band throughout the night. The boys bombarded their fans with the tunes they came to hear. Songs like Messages,Tesla Girls, Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans; and Mega hits So in love, Locomotion, Sailing the Seven Seas and uber tune Enola Gay
OMD ended their encore with a three song set. First was Walking on the Milky Way. Then two of their biggest hits from yesteryear, Secret… then the night ended with cult classic and obvious crowd favorite Electricity.
Humphries and McCluskey definitely sent a telegraph; OMD sounds just as good today as they did when Molly Ringwold made that magic so many years ago!
For those of you with inquiring minds, go to www.omd.uk.com, or the bands social media pages at Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to find out more about OMD.